Losing weight: Setting the wheels in motion

Dec 8, 2022, 1:00 PM | Updated: 4:08 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — When it comes to shedding pounds, it’s not just about the patient. It’s usually a family affair.

It was for Russell Gleave of South Jordan. Two years ago, his wife Ann said, he was diagnosed with cancer. He underwent chemotherapy and then four months after he was pronounced cancer-free, he had heart problems.

“2021 was the year that tried to kill him, that’s what he likes to say,” Ann Gleave said.

He underwent angioplasty and then was referred to Intermountain Healthcare’s Weigh to Health program to help him lose weight.

Ann Gleave insisted she participate as well.

“I’m part of the reason that he became 370 pounds, you know, and I wanted to be part of the solution that he live to be 70 or 80,” she said.

She said that because their home was once a haven for snacks, chips, and pastry.

Russell Gleave of West Jordan was diagnosed with cancer two years ago. He underwent chemotherapy and then four months after he was pronounced cancer-free, he had heart problems. (KSL TV) Ann Cleave started exercising with her husband to support him while he worked on losing weight. (KSL TV) Karlee Adams, RDN, is the Weigh to Health coordinator at Intermountain Healthcare. (KSL TV) Ann Gleave competes in BMX with her six-year-old grandson. (KSL TV)

Much to the dismay of their grandchildren, she said, “I completely cleaned out the pantry and put healthy stuff in there.”

Karlee Adams, RDN, the Weigh to Health coordinator, said it’s important that she bought in to the program.

“It is really important for people to find their support system,” Adams said.

Ann Gleave’s commitment is evident weekends at the indoor BMX track at the Salt Lake County Fairgrounds.

Before Weigh to Health, she and her husband chauffeured their grandkids to weekend BMX competitions and sat in the stands. Now, at age 58 after decades of inactivity, she rides and competes along with them.

“It’s hysterical,” she said, laughing.

Weigh to Health prescribed regular physical activity. Russell Gleave started walking. Ann Gleave chose to ride.

“I’m riding around the track with a six-year-old grandson who’s going ‘go faster, grandma go faster.’ Those are moments that they’re just so precious that it makes it easy,” she said.

She said she feels better and has more energy. Gleave and her husband each lost 40 pounds.

“When I was 20, I used to think ‘well, if we live 30 years together, that’ll be a long time, we’ll be old and that’ll be okay.’ But now that I’m 50, 60 I’m not ready. I’ll stay healthy,” she said.

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Losing weight: Setting the wheels in motion